Davinci Virtual Blog



Action Is Essential To Career Success

Are you working on your career goals regularly or just thinking about them? Are you moving forward a little bit every day or waiting for the right time to begin?

Goals don't get realized on their own. They get completed and achieved when you are working on them. Work on your goals and you will reach them. Work on something else and your goals will take a back seat.

Nothing great happens in your career without your active participation. When you are taking action in your career, you are carrying out your goals with purpose and power. You are "in the zone" and believe that anything is possible. You feel great. You have faith that your actions will lead to goal completion. And you are right.

So, How Do You Take Action In Your Career? Follow these five steps:

1. Map Out Your Action Steps

You can't reach your destination unless you know where you are going. Mapping out what you are going to do-and then doing it-is your recipe for success. Think about it this way. If you were to complete one action step every day, you will have taken thirty steps at the end of the month and 365 steps by the end of the year. Small steps add up to big ones because goals are reached one (mapped) step at a time.

2. Manage Your Time Effectively

You are probably extremely busy, and you are certainly not alone in this. But do not use being busy as an excuse to not work on your career. It's essential to work on your goals despite what is happening around you. And, if you do not make time, it will not magically occur on its own. Are your goals important to you? If the answer is yes, then make time to accomplish them.

3. Select Your Priorities

There will always be something on your list of things to do. So, try to let go of what you should do, or could do. Instead, focus on what you want to do and accomplish. You want to reach your goals. This is your objective. Select the action steps that will get you there, and work on these. This is how you will reach the finish line.

4.  Use Your Calendar

A calendar is an essential tool for helping you reach your goals. If you don't feel like taking an action step in your career, your calendar will help you get motivated or stay on track. If you don't remember what your next action step is, your calendar will remind you what to work on. If your action steps are not in your calendar, they will not get done, because you will forget what you need to do.

5. Move Forward No Matter What

You will have good days and bad days-everyone does. Nevertheless, try to move yourself forward and take action even if you do not feel like it on a particular day. Take one step every day whether you believe it will make a difference or not. Movement will help make your goals a reality.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Check out this video on entrepreneurial career success:

Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, is the President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. a career, life, and mentor coaching company. She is the author of "Coach Yourself To A New Career,","Don't Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job" and "How To Feel Great At Work Everyday."

AMEX, Wells Fargo Launch Small Businesses Projects

Small businesses can use all they help they can get—and two corporate behemoths are offering a leg up. American Express and Wells Fargo are ready to help small businesses grow.

American Express Open has partnered with SCORE to launch a multi-city tour that aims to help small business owners develop strategies and give them the educational and coaching programs they need to identify new opportunities for business growth.

Dubbed the “Small Business High Speed Growth,” the program expands on the previous “Small Business Speed Coaching Test Drive” event series to couples speed coaching with new problem-solving workshops. The 2011 events invite questions on a variety of topics, from surviving the current economy to finding the “right” customers.

For the first time since 2006, growth has surpassed survival as the number one priority for entrepreneurs, according to the American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor.  Perhaps further evidence that economic recovery is reaching Main Street, more than one-third (35 percent) plan to hire, the highest level since the fall 2008 survey.

“Small business owners are survivors having held on through uncertain economic times and are now, more than ever, ready to grow and expand their businesses,” says Karen-Michelle Mirko, director of customer advocacy at American Express OPEN. “These growth-focused entrepreneurs require increased support from trusted partners who can lend their expertise on key business issues.”

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo has kicked off its annual Small Business Appreciation Celebration with the launch of a new financial information portal for small business owners. The interactive Business Insight Resource Center offers business owners free access to multimedia content with tips and strategies on how to start, grow, manage, expand and transition businesses.

Visitors to the Resource Center will find hundreds of videos, articles, podcasts and webinars addressing the various aspects of owning and operating a business. Website features allow users to access information by topic, business type, or business stage and can be customized to showcase information most relevant to a small business owner’s needs or interests. Business owners can also share their opinions through online polls and surveys or share valuable content through social media platforms.

“Nothing is more helpful than real-world, practical knowledge being shared by fellow experts and business owners,” says Rich Sloan, co-founder and CEO of StartupNation and host of many videos found on the site. “Wells Fargo has done a great service to my fellow business owners by producing valuable, timely videos with tips and strategies that are easy to apply. The Business Insight Resource Center is filled with great advice that helps owners solve problems and move their businesses forward.”

Take Responsibility For Your Career

Who do you fault if something goes wrong in your career? Yourself or someone around you?

How about if no one is to fault, but someone is responsible? How about if the responsible person is you?

Most people don't like to take responsibility. First of all, it's not fun. Second, responsibility forces you to look deep inside yourself to assess and reassess your life and career, which is also not fun. Finally, responsibility requires action and action requires work. Again, no fun.
In addition, most people are not accustomed to taking responsibility. We are used to assigning blame or an outside cause for our problems. And usually, we can find someone or something we can point to as the reason for our dissatisfaction.

I am not saying that you should fault yourself for everything that has gone awry in your career. Real things happen to real people, and in many cases, they are hard to go through and experience. Plus, faulting only "you" wouldn't be fair or realistic. I am saying to accept what has happened to you in your career, learn from it, forgive yourself, refocus, and then move on. This approach is the best use of your time and energy.

So How Do Your Take Responsibility For Your Career? Follow These 3 Steps Below:

1) Recognize What Not Taking Responsibly Is Costing You

Sometimes faulting others feels good. We like to be right and if we are right, then another party gets to be wrong. We feel vindicated because we know who hurt us and why they are at fault. Plus, we get sympathy and attention from the people around us. The downside to not taking responsibility is you stay stuck and stagnant which makes you feel worse. When something in your career does not go as planned, or you are thrown off course without notice, you have a decision to make. Be right (and stuck) or get moving. The decision is yours and you have the power to make it.

2) Recognize That Without Responsibility There Can Be No Forward Movement

When you accept responsibility for your career, a sense of calm will emerge. No longer will your energies be focused outward but inward on you. You will feel great, motivated, and empowered. Your sense of purpose and direction will reappear. You will enjoy being with you again. And, you will learn to trust and rely on yourself in ways that you did not know were possible before.

3) Recognize That, With A Plan, Great Things Happens

Accepting responsibility for your career will empower you to direct its course. You can plan again. You can open your calendar and put items into it again. You can take your goals and break them into small achievable pieces. You can look towards the future and the future will be brighter. You can move forward and achieve results. You can reach your goals. You are also freed up to look at other areas of your life where you want to be more responsible.
So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Check out this classic Brian Tracy video on success"

Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, is the President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. a career, life, and mentor coaching company. She is the author of "Coach Yourself To A New Career," "Don't Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job" and "How To Feel Great At Work Everyday."

Does Your Small Business Use Social Media to Recruit Employees?

What types of workers are most in demand today? Employers are hiring employees who are experienced in their businesses, team-oriented, customer-focused, have a track record for achieving the results they want, and work smart.

So says a new survey from global talent management firm OI Partners/FS&F.

Companies are more frequently using social media sites to recruit employees than last year, posting jobs on their company Web sites, obtaining referrals from current workers, and hiring people first as contract or temporary employees.

Here are some key takeaways from the survey, which offers insights for small business owners looking to hire and people looking for their next job:

  • 54 percent of employers have increased hiring

  • 42 percent are amore concerned about retaining their current employees than they were last year

  • 33% of employers say it is taking longer to bring people on board this year as companies delay hiring to make sure that their business justifies the additional staff and conduct more interviews to confirm they are selecting the best candidates.

  • Employers are interviewing candidates by phone more often, having teams of employees conduct interviews, and are making greater use of behavioral interviews.

"Employers are being more selective in the types of employees they want, and the methods they are using to find and interview them," says Steve Ford, managing partner of OI Partners/FS&F. "Employers want workers who know their businesses and have accomplished goals similar to those they are seeking to achieve. Companies also are looking for people who work well together and realize how important customers are in this challenging economy.”

The survey also offers some job-search and interviewing advice for candidates.

"Employers in the survey are using LinkedIn and their company websites more than last year to find qualified workers, so these should have a higher place in a job search,” Ford says. “Also, practice for telephone interviews, being interviewed by several people at once, and responding to behavioral interviews with a variety of examples and situations from your experience to show you have the skills necessary to succeed.”

How Surveys Can Help Your Small Business Grow

My first-ever job was doing telephone surveys for a company in Tampa. At the time, they paid 15-year-olds a premium to call a list of targeted zip codes and ask a list of questions.

So when I read about a company that offers free phone surveys, it got my attention. The company is called Free Phone Surveys. The firm provides a service that lets small businesses deploy automated telephone surveys to customers at no charge, and send text message rewards with special offers to survey participants.

Dorsey West, founder of Free Phone Surveys, offers five compelling reasons why every small business owner should make customer surveys an integral part of their immediate and long-term growth strategies. Let’s check out her reasoning:

1. Incentives for survey participation can attract repeat business.

Let’s face it. People are busy. If you want people to take your surveys, a little reward can go a very long way. What kind of incentive should you offer? Anything from a discount on a future purchase to a free drink or appetizer can be more than enough incentive for someone to take a few minutes and share their opinion. When customers come back to redeem your offer, there is a good chance they'll purchase additional products or services.

2. Surveys can help you capture valuable consumer marketing data.

Surveys provide a prime opportunity to collect important marketing demographic data that some customers may be hesitant to disclose, such as zip codes or telephone numbers, in a non-intrusive manner. Just ask for it at the beginning or end of your survey, and most people won't think twice about sharing this information with you.

3. Offering surveys can help you build better customer relationships.

When you or one of your employees personally asks a customer to take a survey in exchange for a special offer or discount, it becomes the perfect opportunity to initiate more in-depth conversations that can lead to lasting business relationships. Customers will feel like their opinion really matters to you and that you truly value their patronage.

4. Survey results can help you meet customer demand more effectively.

The primary objective for offering surveys is to learn what your customers like and don't like about your products or services. A careful analysis of survey results can show you what changes need to be made in your business to enhance what you're doing right and eliminate what your customers don't particularly enjoy.

5. Surveys can enhance your overall business image.

You can make your small business look like a major corporation just by the way you offer your surveys.

While I’m glad this service wasn’t around in the 1980s when I was taking home $6 an hour and enjoying long breaks with my friends, as a small business owner I am really glad that this free phone survey concept is around today. Between my experience as the survey company and the knowledge I gained writing Online Surveys For Dummies, I can tell you that surveys are indeed the best way to find out how customers feel about your products or services. And you can find out a whole lot more than that.

Not sure what questions to ask? Check out this video and get five tips for customer satisfaction questions: